What is Farro, Anyway?

You’ve likely seen it on our menu. But what is it? Farro is a type of hulled-wheat that has been cultivated for centuries. In fact, Farro, translated in Italian, means ancient grains.

Farro Roots
This hulled-wheat originated in the Fertile Crescent centuries ago. Farro has been found the world-over, anywhere from the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings to Italy’s Rome -- historians have said that it is thought to have sustained the Roman Legions. But in recent years this ancient grain has experienced a resurgence in popularity both in the chef’s kitchen and at the grocery store.

Why Farro Is Suited for Italian Food
These ancient grains are packed with fiber, more than brown rice and quinoa, as well as vitamins and minerals including magnesium, iron and B3. Its nutty, almost cashew-like, and earthiness flavor makes it great for use in salads, soups, risottos, and sides of the Italian variety. At EVO, farro pairs nicely with our pistachio-crusted salmon.

Cooking with Farro
Whole grain farro can prove to be challenging to cook with. When preparing this grain at home, it is essential to soak your farro overnight before you begin the cooking process. This simple trick can make the farro softer, and more palatable. Without the overnight bath your grains will feel more have a palatableness that is more similar to popcorn kernels than pillowy, hearty grains at dinner. For a quicker cooking process, look for semipearled farro. In this variety, some of the bran has been removed with makes the grain softer, thus, easier to cook with.

Foods trends come and go. But this ancient grain has been around for centuries. Its rise in popularity today goes to show that it’s a solid cooking staple that will be around for many more years to come. How will you cook with this ancient grain?

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